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Southeast Asia stocks - Most slip on dismal China data; Thailand slumps for ninth straight day

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12/09/2019 | 05:26am EST
A trader reacts during trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Makati city, Metro Manila

Most Southeast Asian markets weakened on Monday, as worries over poor economic data from China offset Wall Street cheer on strong U.S. jobs data, while investors buckled in for a crucial week of trade negotiations.

Chinese exports eased for the fourth straight month in November, implying that the 17-month long trade standoff with the United States was weighing on Southeast Asia's largest trading partner.

However, data from the U.S. showed that job growth increased the most in 10 months in November and the unemployment rate had ticked back down to its lowest level in nearly half a century.

This week, focus turns to trade talks between the two biggest economies in the world as U.S. President Donald Trump has to decide whether to hold off on a new set of tariffs on Chinese goods, which are set to kick in on Dec. 15.

"China's insistence for U.S. tariff rollbacks remains a critical redline, " DBS Group Research wrote in a note.

Thai shares fell for a ninth straight session and hit their lowest level in nearly a year.

"The ninth consecutive fall foreshadows continued weak domestic demand going into 2020, " economists at ING said in a note.

Industrials were top losers, with Airports of Thailand losing as much as 3.7% to hit its lowest level in over two months.

Malaysian stocks snapped two sessions of gains, with heavyweights such as power utility Tenaga Nasional and telecom Axiata Group dragging the index.

The trade-sensitive Singapore index closed lower, weighed by losses in conglomerates Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings.

Philippine shares dropped 0.3%. Conglomerates SM Investments Corp and Ayala Land lost 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.

Indonesian stocks inched up, with PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk and PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk adding 1% and 0.2%, respectively.

Indonesia's banking regulator on Monday issued a decree requiring banks to keep a minimum leverage ratio of 3% starting Jan 1, 2020.

By Arundhati Dutta

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AXIATA GROUP BHD End-of-day quote.
AYALA LAND, INC. End-of-day quote.
JARDINE MATHESON HOLDINGS LIMITED 0.05% 56.66 End-of-day quote.1.63%
JARDINE STRATEGIC HOLDINGS LIMITED -0.81% 32 End-of-day quote.4.40%
TENAGA NASIONAL BHD End-of-day quote.
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